Yesterday I talked about Acrylic Paint as my favorite Essential but that is followed very close by Gesso – I looooveee Gesso!
Gesso is like a magic bullet. Seriously. Gesso should be in your craft room….there is no doubt about it! If my Mixed Media Essentials were characters of Harry Potter…Gesso would be Dumbledore …and come one…who doesn’t want Dumbledore in their studio helping with some spells of Love ;)
What I love about Gesso is:
- It can be applied to many surfaces like canvas, fabric, wood etc. and creates a surface that can be painted on.
- It gives tooth. So you can paint also surfaces where usually paint would not grab on- for example Metal.
- There is thicker Gesso and thinner Gesso. You can ﬁnd white, black and clear Gesso – there are even other colored Gessos but I would say these are the most used ones. You can always change the color with Acrylic Paint yourself.
- It is an amazing medium to add texture with tools and household items, embedding supplies or by using it with stencils etc.
- It is the cure whenever something went totally wrong…just paint over with gesso ….it is the magic bullet ;)
- White Gesso is the cheapest white paint ;)
- It is amazing to tone down or change colors of your backgrounds or scrapbooking papers
- there is a huge amount of techniques including resist techniques with gesso that you can do -ahhh- happy mixed media land :)
Here are some examples:
White gesso for textured background and on flowers used
treated background with stencils, embedded elements and then spray painted
creating texture with Gesso before using paint media
primed a frame with clear gesso and then used here and there translucent and opaque paint media
Black gesso for texture, torn open to reveal background again
Gesso to create handmade textured embellishments
Clear and white gesso used to create this moody textured background
Embedded chipboard elements in gesso
Just pulling those projects together makes me wanna go into my room and play with Gesso again!
Which Gesso I use:
As always in this series- the answer to this question is based on my preferences, my style and my experiences
- I do use white, clear and black gesso.
- Lately I use Liquitex Gessos a lot- I love the consistency, coverage as they are highly pigmented and their consistence. I have only seen the clear gesso by Liquitex btw. For the black Gesso I used mostly Golden.
- I tend to like the thicker gesso more- I don’t like the liquid stuff- makes sense, because I love texture and you can water gesso down…so why waste money on the thin stuff?
- I used to buy big buckets of Gesso – which makes sense if you use them up in a workshop right away with lot’s of students, but now I buy smaller jars, even with my crazy usage of gesso, I had it dry out after a while and then it was a waste of money.
- When you start out and you just want to get a feel for Gesso – the Liquitex Basics Gesso is a good start :)
I hope you had fun with this…next up is…Markers and Pens
If you want to learn more about gesso- check out my Über*Media Gesso Online Workshop